The offseason is here for many teams and with it will come surgeries and lengthy injury recoveries. In the case of Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers, that means core muscle surgery. Hayes went under the knife last week and is facing a recovery timeline of five weeks.
That obviously leaves him with plenty of time to get ready for next season, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be at full strength when things kick off in October. Core muscle surgeries are notorious for having long-lasting effects on performance, meaning the start of the season could be tough for the 29-year-old.
This injury could also explain some of the struggles that Hayes went through this season, scoring just 12 goals in 55 games for the Flyers and now really looking like the same player they had a year prior. He still ended up with 31 points but saw his role on the penalty kill decreased, resulting in zero short-handed goals for just the second time in his career. His nine even-strength goals were also easily the lowest total of his career, and certainly not what the team expected for more than $7.1MM per season.
Hayes still has five seasons left on that seven-year, $50MM contract he signed in 2019, meaning he’ll have to rebound if the Flyers are going anywhere in 2021-22. For those that believe a shakeup is in order, the veteran center is not a likely candidate to be moved, if only because of his no-movement clause. That clause will change to a 12-team no-trade after the 2021-22 season.